JUST as few are surprised when Charlie Austin is linked with moves elsewhere, perhaps it should have not have come as the greatest shock that Sean Dyche’s name was mentioned in connection with Nottingham Forest.

It was a tentative link that the Clarets were quick to dismiss, with Billy Davies widely reported as being lined up to return to the City Ground.

With Burnley currently sitting four places above Forest in the Championship table, one would hope it would not be a move Dyche would ever have entertained anyway.

But that he was linked at all still says much about the job Dyche has done since taking over at Turf Moor in November.

The Clarets were 14th in the Championship table when he arrived, having risen two places under caretaker Terry Pashley following Eddie Howe’s exit.

Since then they have climbed to seventh and have notably improved defensively. Before Dyche they shipped 29 goals in 13 games, since then they have conceded just 15 in 17.

For Burnley to be where they are in the table right now, higher than they have finished in each of the last two seasons despite a continuing reduction in the wage bill, is something the manager deserves plenty of credit for.

In some ways, if not in others, Dyche has at least some semblance of similarity with Sam Allardyce.

The imposing frame befitting of a former centre half, the ability to organise a team into a structure, the attention to detail and the faith in facts and figures.

Like Allardyce too, Dyche speaks with the type of assurance that portrays a man who knows what he is talking about.

It no doubt stood him in good stead during Burnley’s interview process, when the club spoke to a wide range of potential candidates, and it surely helps with his playing squad too.

Players speak of his willingness to do the right thing by them, to explain why they are not in the team if they have been left out – something that Sir Alex Ferguson has always been a believer in.

Dyche arrived with sympathy from many across the country about the harsh way in which he lost his first managerial job at Watford, when he again secured results with limited funds before the club’s new owners decided to bring in the bigger name of Gianfranco Zola in the summer.

So the manager will have his admirers right now for the job he is doing at Burnley.

If that continues, we should not be surprised if he is linked with more vacancies in the future.

But hopefully both Dyche and Austin will remain at Turf Moor for some time to come.

Both have provided Burnley with reason for optimism.

Fans will be eager to find out just how far they can take the club.